Every time there is water (stormwater, car wash water, pressure washing water, pool emptying, watering plants or the yard, etc), the bacteria from any feces on the ground is going to wash away, either directly into the water, if it is on a beach or shoreline, or into a storm drain, where it will make its way into the river or the bay. Only 20% of the over 1,000 storm drains in our watershed are treated. The remaining 80% are draining directly into the river or bay.
At Lynnhaven River Now, we encourage all pet owners (especially dog owners) to sign the Scoop the Poop pledge, pick up a scarf (like Calvin is modelling above) to show others their commitment, and place a sticker on their city trash cans to remind others to scoop the poop as well.
If your neighborhood or complex does not yet have a poop bag dispenser, we encourage you to apply for one through the askHRgreen Pet Waste Station Grant. You can find the application here. You must commit to installing the station, ensuring that it stays stocked with bags, and that the trash bag gets emptied, but the station itself is free of charge!
Of course, we'd be remiss to not mention the issue of boater discharge as well, which certainly contributes to the problem. We hope that all boaters remember that the Lynnhaven River is a NO DISCHARGE ZONE, which means no dumping, even if it treated sewage.
Bacteria in our water is a serious issue that deserves our attention and our action. On the economic side, dirty water can affect our tourism (which is largely based on our waterways). On a more personal level, it can affect our health, and our ability to enjoy the beautiful waters of Hampton Roads safely. Please, Scoop the Poop, and encourage others to do the same. It doesn't matter where you live, it's all going to the same place.
Written by Trista Imrich